European Council 8 – 9 December 2011
The Commission will be active to ensure swift preparation of a treaty that is fully compatible with EU law.
Updated 9 December (pm)
After the European Council, President Barroso congratulated the Polish Presidency for its impressive achievements. He said he was "extremely pleased that we have strong conclusions welcoming the Commission's 2012 Annual Growth Survey. This is now our reference for the work in terms of economic policy coordination – the European Semester and all the instruments we now have to coordinate the economic policies in the European Union institutions. Proper implementation is crucial to get us back on the growth path." The EU leaders also agreed to fast-track a programme of measures to boost growth and jobs.
"This discussion was an important complement to last night's agreement on the fiscal compact," President Barroso said. "The objective to add to the strict discipline and reinforced convergence we are already introducing through secondary legislation was achieved. And I want to underline the agreement on substance, the very wide agreement on substance when it comes to reinforced discipline and also reinforced convergence in the euro area and indeed beyond. Work will now begin to rapidly flesh out the details of this new treaty. The Commission will be active to ensure swift preparation of a treaty that is fully compatible with EU law and also that preserves the role of the European institutions."
Important conclusions on energy, notably on the need for swift completion of an EU internal energy market and the development of infrastructure, were also reached in the European Council.
Updated 9 December
We have now an agreement to go forward for a new 'fiscal compact' and strengthened economic policy coordination.
"We have now an agreement to go forward for a new 'fiscal compact' and strengthened economic policy coordination," stated President Barroso at the press conference following the first day of the European Council. He explained that "it is a decision of the Heads of State or Government of the euro area member states and those that decided already to join," and added that now the key is swift implementation. President Barroso also welcomed the Heads of State or Governments' commitment to examine swiftly the new rules proposed by the Commission on 23 November, namely those regarding the monitoring and assessment of draft budgetary plans, of the correction of excessive deficit in the euro area member states and also the strengthening of economic and budgetary surveillance of member states experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties in respect to their financial stability in the euro area.
"It is extremely important that all the EU shows that the euro is irreversible, that we are all supporting it."
The December European Council will focus on reviving the economy, with most attention on stronger economic governance in the euro area and the discussion on possible Treaty change. Energy issues and the prospect of new countries joining the EU will also be on the agenda.
Ahead of the summit, European Council President Van Rompuy sent an interim report on strengthening the economic union, prepared with President Barroso and Eurogroup President Juncker, to the Heads of State and Government. The report sets out options and a possible two-step approach to Treaty change. President Barroso stressed that this European Council needs to take strong decisions that are credible to our citizens, to our international partners and to the markets – and that allow for the creation of a genuine fiscal compact.
President Barroso said: "The Summit that we are going to start tonight in Brussels is indeed a crucial one. What I expect from all Heads of State and Government is they do not come saying what they cannot do, but what they will do for Europe. All the world is watching us. And what the world awaits from us is not more national problems but European solutions. At the core of this crisis there is a problem of confidence and credibility. This is why we in the European Commission support more convergence, more discipline. It is extremely important that we, all together, all the European Union, show that the euro is irreversible and that we are all supporting the euro. And I believe that this is possible. My appeal, my strong appeal to all the Heads of State and Government is to show this commitment to our common currency. I think this is indispensable – and leadership is about making possible what is indispensable."